What to Remember When You Feel Rejected for Being Different
Have you always felt a bit different and unable to fit in? Here’s some encouragement to help you be confident in the skin God put you in.
For too many years, I tried to be “normal.” But it never really worked out for me. Way back in my school days, it seemed I was always at least somewhat different from my peers. I was never as interested in PE and parties; I’d rather talk politics and religion. And more often than not, I’d rather do it with people much older than me.
Ridiculed for My Faith
I couldn’t understand why fellow believers would ridicule someone’s passion for God or criticize their zeal.
After I became a Christian, the trend continued. I was one of only a few in youth group that preferred theologizing with youth leaders instead of vegging out with video games in the rec room after service. In college, a couple friends and I could talk for hours—almost every day—about the things of God and all the supernatural stuff—deliverance, miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Resultantly, we even had some people boycott one of our Bible studies!
Yes, shortly into my born-again life, I discovered that what I thought was normal interest and passion for a Christian to have, others thought was weird or radical. Of course, I expected this from those outside of the faith. But it was the comments made from other Christians that upset me the most. I couldn’t understand why fellow believers would ridicule someone’s passion for God or criticize their zeal.
Peculiar for a Purpose
This all bothered me enough that I finally sought the Lord over it. And He showed me that He often creates peculiar people to achieve particular purposes. Follow me with these three examples.
The Prophet Jeremiah
Remember the prophet Jeremiah? God handpicked him for a last attempt to bring Israel to repentance. But Jeremiah’s life was anything but normal. Because of his calling, he didn’t marry or have children, and he had little to no friends.
John the Baptist
Consider John the Baptist. Called by God to proclaim the coming of the Messiah, he too was very different. Unshaven and outfitted in clothing made of camel’s hair, he certainly appeared odd. He kept a strange diet: only locusts and wild honey, and no alcohol. And to top it all off, he went on and on with a bold message that many found offensive.
The Apostle Paul
And then there’s the apostle Paul. Chosen to evangelize the Gentiles, Paul lived unlike most others. He remained a single, itinerant evangelist with an over-the-top zeal that even some of the other apostles resented.
My point here is that each of these people were different because they were designed to be.
Celebrate Your Weirdness
There’s a reason God chose you for such a time as this—and it’s not because you’re like everybody else!
Have you experienced some sort of rejection because of your passion? Do you feel you don’t fit some mold people want to stuff you into? Has the Lord showed you something that nobody understands? Or asked you to fulfill a task that people can’t believe? Welcome to the life of those who are called by God!
Today, instead of getting upset when people misunderstand or misinterpret me, I’ve learned to celebrate my weirdness and wear it with confidence. And you should too. After all, there’s a reason God chose you for such a time as this—and it’s definitely not because you’re like everybody else!